Julie Inman Grant, Australia's eSafety Commissioner and regular attendee of World Economic Forum events, seized the opportunity at this year's event to champion the establishment of a controversial AI-powered global regulatory coalition.
The coalition aims to impose safety by design regulations on online platforms, placing them under tighter control.
Speaking at a panel headlined "Protecting the Vulnerable Online," moderated by CNBC-TV18 Managing Editor Shereen Bhan, Grant claimed the preventive measures, education, and research are vital in regulating online spaces.
As Australia debates a contentious 'misinformation bill' in parliament this year, Grant's concerns about online safety and the reintegration of previously banned accounts on platforms like Twitter took center stage.
Drawing an analogy between allowing banned accounts back on platforms and permitting dangerous drivers on the roads without safety measures, Grant asserted the importance of regulatory bodies as a safety net.
"We serve as that safety net, and they can come to us, report to us. This triggers an investigation, and collaboration with platforms is crucial to ensure swift actions," she stated.
Grant attracted strong criticism at last year's WEF conference over comments calling for a "recalibration" of freedom of speech.
As the WEF talks up 'combating misinformation and disinformation' as a major goal in 2024, Grant, with her counterparts in Europe and the US, positions herself as a key player in shaping global online regulations.
However, concerns from free speech advocates persist, fearing potential restrictions and data scanning measures, framing Grant's efforts as an extension of her past agenda during her tenure at Twitter.